Tag Archives: Ray Cox

Civic Stories Project photo essay #3: Ray Cox

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.


See the background page on Ray Cox and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.


Archer House gets a big new sign in back. I think it’s going to read: ‘You can relieve yourself here anytime’

Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Design, with Archer House sign In May of 2011, I blogged that the Archer House had finally installed an external sign that let people know there were public restrooms inside, upper and lower levels.  (I had been complaining about the lack of signage for the $100,000 public toilets, paid for by taxpayers.)

I was still unhappy that the sign was so tiny. See the photo of Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Design, pointing to it.

Archer House, west sideThis morning, Ray Cox of Northfield Construction, stopped by my corner office at GBM to let me know that they were working with Jim to install a huge new sign on the back of the Archer House.

I took a photo but as you can see, the sign was not visible yet. 

I’m hopeful that the new sign addresses my concerns.  If they’re reluctant to use direct language (eg, ‘public toilets here’) then maybe a euphemism like:

Anyone have better suggestions?

Update 9/2, 11:15 am:

Alas, no such wording. But the sign looks terrific, day and night (apologies for the crappy night photo, taken with my smartphone):

Archer House sign, west side Archer House sign, west side Archer House sign, west side

First National Bank gets a classy ATM sign downtown. Now if only Dave would grab his ladder and remove the 4 year-old graffiti

First National Bank of Northfield's 24 hour ATM sign First National Bank of Northfield's 24 hour ATM sign First National Bank Northfield graffiti CEO Dave Shumway changes a lightbulb
I noticed this week that First National Bank of Northfield installed a 24 hour ATM sign at its downtown location.  Very cool. It’s evidently part of the ATM upgrade that Ray Cox wrote about in his Northfield Construction Company blog last week.

Now is the time for CEO Dave Shumway, who knows how to screw in a light bulb one-handed at the top of a step ladder in front of handicap-access entrance/exit door, to grab his ladder and remove the graffiti that’s been on the upper level of the building since March of 2008.

These guys didn’t have an appointment. I let it go this time.

Steve Grove and Ray Cox at GBMRay Cox stopped by unannounced at my morning office at GBM yesterday morning to talk politics, business, and web stuff for NCC.

And then former Northfielder Steve Grove (Twitter acct link) barged in, all the way from his Manhattan office where he’s head of News and Politics for YouTube.  He’s in town for a few days for a wedding.

Note to self: gray t-shirts are evidently the hip attire these days.

Remodeling begins on the bank building at 25 Bridge Square; anyone need a safe?

remodeling work on the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square remodeling work on the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square old safe at the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square
Northfield Construction Company (NCC) has begun remodeling work on the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square , soon to become the world headquarters for the Neuger Communications Group. That item on the right is not heading to the Northfield Historical Society, I think it’s safe to say.

See Ray Cox’s May 11 NCC blog post for details on the remodeling. See my January blog post for details on the purchase.

Scriver Building: the trees are down but the banner is up

Scriver Building Scriver Building tree stump Scriver Building
The two trees in front of the Northfield Historial Society’s Scriver Building have been cut down (sob!). It looks so bare now from Bridge Square.

Scriver Building with fundraising banner Scriver Building with fundraising banner NHS - Taking Northfield History to the Next Level
But there is now a huge Taking History to the Next Level fundraising banner hanging on the Division St side of the building. For construction updates, see:

Photos: Northfield Historical Society breaks ground on accessibility project

 Northfield Historical Society breaks ground on accessibility project Northfield Historical Society breaks ground on accessibility project Hayes Scriven, on the roof of the NHS

DSC01091 DSC01092
Northfield Historical Society muckety mucks held a ground-breaking ceremony late yesterday afternoon in front of the Scriver Building, marking the start of the NHS ‘accessibility project,’ primarily the addition of an elevator and restrooms. Ray Cox and Craig Vold of Northfield Construction Company were on  hand to show everyone how to hold a shovel.

For more, see:

David Bly got hammered by corporate-funded attack ads, AKA free speech

FreeSpeechZoneIn the 2010 election, corporations, big business spoke loudly with support from the Supreme Court’s decision in January. Representative David Bly evidently was targeted by a lot of nasty mailings. 

Strib columnist Nick Coleman writes about it today in a piece titled Business buys itself a new government

But one Democrat who felt the sting of the corporate lash was David Bly, a state representative from the cow-and-college precincts of Northfield who was seeking a third term… The corporate-funded attack ads that flooded his district even slimed him as a crook that would steal cash right out of the hands of the elderly… "It’s outrageous," says Bly. "It was cleverly crafted — it didn’t outright accuse me of being a crook. It only implied it. But I was trying to make the case for why I should be reelected, and I was drowned out by accusations against me that were totally untrue. I had no way I could counter them. My name was dragged through the mud."

I hate those nasty attack ads as much as the next guy.  But it wasn’t too long ago (2004?) that Ray Cox was the target of attack ad mailings that falsely distorted his record as a school board member in his race against David Bly. In 2010, if the backers of Democrats had judged Bly’s 25B seat to be at risk, I think it’s safe to say that similar slime ball attack ads would have targeted Bly’s opponent, Kelby Woodard.

Regardless of the outcome between Bly and Woodard, we’ll have a business-friendly Minnesota legislature come January. I’m eager to see what they can do. Editorial writer Lori Sturdevant in today’s Strib: Well, that worked out pretty well for business

But if the business money that elected Republicans is accompanied by business savvy to truly remake public services into more efficient and effective operations, "reform" and "redesign" will become cues for applause. And Republicans will be more likely to occupy the Capitol’s majority office suites for years to come.

For another perspective on the Supreme Court decision, see Vance Opperman’s opinion piece in the March issue of Twin Cities Business, When Corporations Speak.

The Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that the free speech protection of the United States Constitution extends to all speakers, regardless of whether they are individuals or corporations. Companies, labor unions, and all other types of entities are free to spend whatever they want to at any time for election communications, as long as they are independent of political parties or candidates.

… The best antidote in a democracy for speech you do not like is more speech. Corporations are not monolithic. Large pharmaceutical companies, some large insurers, and some doctors associations support the current administration’s health care reform. Other corporations do not. There are corporations variously supporting windmills, solar power, natural gas, coal, and petroleum as energy resources—all attempting to persuade our democracy to join them in their divergent positions on energy. Entities such as the National Right to Life Committee and Planned Parenthood share the corporate form, but little else.

Proposed historic-looking office building would ‘replace’ the Aldsworth

Aldsworth Building and Community Resource Bank11x17 12 View 19I chatted briefly yesterday with Jim Braucher, Principal of Professional Design Group, a Northfield architectural and engineering firm, on the plans to redevelop the site of the Community Resource Bank and the old Aldsworth building overlooking Bridge Square with a historic-looking 4-story office building. I may be drinking the Kool-Aid but I’m not inclined to jump on the ‘save the Aldsworth’ bandwagon since only its facade was renovated in 1997. According to my Deep Throat at GBM, the interior structure is badly dilapidated. (continued)

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